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DUBAI/Doha: Renewed selling pressure from foreign investors dragged down Egypt’s bourse to a 14-week low yesterday on the back of a gloomy economic backdrop, while other regional markets were mixed.
Qatar Exchange traded in the green area yesterday adding 8.23 points (or 0.10 percent) to advance to 8,578.37 points from 8,570.14 Tuesday.
The volume of the shares traded fell to 2,992,836 from 5,636,569 on Tuesday, and the value of shares decreased to QR140,362,435.88 from QR317,128,950.72 on Tuesday.
Among the top gainers were Industries Qatar which was up 1.04 percent to QR156, Qatar Insurance rose 0.98 percent to QR51.50, Qatar Navigation gained 1.06 percent to QR67 and National Leasing was up by 0.70 percent to Q35.75.
The Banking and Financial sector index was fell 0.17 points while Consumer Goods and Services sector index added 0.03 points. The industrial sector was gained 0.46 points while insurance sector rose 0.63 points.
Elsewhere, Egypt’s government is battling a budget deficit and currency crisis and investors are becoming increasingly sceptical over the prospects of the country obtaining a multi-billion dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund.
Cairo’s main benchmark dropped 1.6 percent to its lowest close since December 13. Foreign investors were net sellers, according to bourse data. Heavyweight Orascom Construction Industries and Commercial International Bank fell 1.7 and 1.8 percent respectively. Orascom Telecom lost 2.4 percent.
In Saudi Arabia, petrochemical stocks helped lift the measure to a three-month high. Saudi Basic Industries Corp, the world’s largest chemicals producer, gained 0.8 percent. Yanbu National Petrochemical climbed 2.4 percent and National Industrialization (Tasnee) advanced 1.3 percent.
Despite weak earnings growth in 2012 and worries of slowing global demand, investors are bullish on the petrochemical sector in the medium-term.
The index added 0.3 percent. It has been trading within a tight range, lagging gains on global markets but has upside potential, Waheed added.
Markets in the UAE declined as short-term traders locked in gains from an early-year rally.
Dubai’s index slipped 0.7 percent. It has been trading in a 100-point range since hitting a 39-month peak on February 24.
Retail investors are booking profits intermittently, with the benchmark up 17 percent this year. Abu Dhabi’s measure retreated 0.7 percent, but is up 14.7 percent year-to-date. First Gulf Bank weighed yesterday, dropping 1.9 percent.